F Rated Veterans Charity Busted: $24.6 Million Settlement with Attorney General
CharityWatch was the first to warn the public of a $8.4 million debt in 2008 and other serious problems with Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) in Millions in Future Donations to Vets Charity Will Pay Debt Owed to Vendors. The charity continued to dig itself into a huge debt to its professional fundraisers, reaching $16.5 million in 2012.
Only a tiny portion of DVNF's cash donations ever went to helping disabled veterans. CharityWatch applauds the New York AG Office for finally putting a stop to many of this group's bad practices. The settlement shows how fundraisers can take advantage of charities, how direct mail solicitations can mislead donors, and how a charity can use unidentified gifts-in-kind of questionable value to give a false appearance that it is spending its money wisely and efficiently. Also, this should wake up "asleep at the wheel" charity governing board members who are allowing outside business interests to control and siphon off contributions.
While DVNF is being forced to reform, it is only one of many charities that dishonor veterans as well as the intentions of generous donors. Donors still must do their homework to select an efficient and well-run veterans charity.